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PlayStation 3 gives strength to Stanford's Folding@home

Since last March, the PlayStation 3 has been one of the leading contributing technologies to the Folding@home effort.

Now, less than a year since release, more than one million users have taken part in Stanford University's Folding@home project. According to Sony, this equates to roughly 3,000 PS3 users registering for Folding@home per day or 2 new registered users every minute worldwide.

"Since partnering with SCEI, we have seen our research capabilities increase by leaps and bounds through the continued participation of Folding@home users," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead.  "Now we have over one million PS3 users registered for Folding@home, allowing us to address questions previously considered impossible to tackle computationally, with the goal of finding cures to some of the world's most life-threatening diseases.  We are grateful for the extraordinary worldwide participation by PS3 and PC users around the globe."

According to the Folding@home team, a network of roughly 10,000 PS3s can accomplish the same amount of work as a network of 100,000 PCs. It took just six months after PS3 joining Folding@home for the project to surpass a petaflops, a computing milestone that had never been reached before by a distributed computing network. On September 16, 2007, Folding@home was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's most powerful distributed computing network.

Currently PS3 users make up approximately 74 percent of the total teraflop computing power of the Folding@home project.

The Folding@home program runs simulations in protein folding and misfolding, helping scientists understand – and hopefully curing – diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's and certain forms of cancer. That’s not all the PS3’s CPU is able to do for the medical community, though, as the Cell Broadband Engine is also helping doctors at Mayo Clinic with medical imaging.



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RE: How Efficient is Distributed Computing?...
By Azzr34l on 2/5/2008 6:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see Stanford produce some data that shows the Folding project is actually going to produce something. Nobody knows if it's going to produce any tangible results.

Millions of users running their PS3's at maximum capacity is DEFINITELY producing something. It consumes 220W at the plug (maybe less for the new 40GB versions) while Folding. You take that power draw times millions of users, some possibly running 24/7 and you don't see a huge waste of power resources? Anyone here realize how many power generating plants are still using coal? That's a lot of harmful pollutants being generated by this Folding project.

Some people just don't get it. Your energy companies send you reminders to turn off your lights when you're not in the room and you don't think the power sucking PS3 is any different?

Dumb.


By Durrr on 2/5/2008 9:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
power production plants like coal/nuclear run at 100% all the time due to a large energy input to get them going.They supply a "base load". Natural Gas/Gas Turbine(read oil) electrical production facilities are the units which are throttled based on grid usage.


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